In today’s dynamic accounting market, brands are so much a part of our day to day lives that we forget how much we depend on them. Look at successful businesses like McDonalds, Qantas, Air New Zealand and Coca Cola for example. Their brand is well recognised and the market knows what goods and services they offer. 

Your Branding Influences 18% Of A Purchase Decision

Wikipedia defines a brand using the American Marketing Association definition as “a name, term, symbol or any other feature that identifies a seller’s goods or services as distinct from those of other sellers.”

In a study of business to business purchase decisions, McKinsey(1) found that Brand was the third most influential purchase factor. Not surprisingly it came behind Price and Product. What is surprising, is that it came ahead of the Sales function and ahead of Information. As accountants, we often get caught up in the information (the details). After all, that’s our job. But in a purchase decision it’s actually the least important factor.

Whenever I work with an accounting practice my first question is: what are your services brand names? What is the unique name that you call your service offering so clients and prospects will readily know what this offering is? Often the answer is “I did not think of that” or “what would you call it?” or “what do other firms use?”

Your services brand can set you apart from your competition. It helps develop your unique selling proposition (your competitive advantage) and is the link between compliance and reliance.

Successful accounting practices brand well and for good reason. Strong brands help:

- Your clients to remember your service offering 
- Define your practice’s competitive advantages 
- Build client loyalty 
- Make it easier for current clients to refer you to their friends, family and associates
- Communicate what your clients can expect from your practice

Many practices assume that a brand is an image, or more simply a well-designed and attractive logo. This is only one part of the branding process. The most important thing to remember is that a brand is an assurance. With a brand, you set client expectations so when someone buys your service they count on those expectations being fulfilled. Your brand is a promise.

Remember your practice brand is your assurance, not just an image. When you make and keep your commitment to your clients, they will keep coming back and refer you to others.

To further develop your marketing and branding skills, come along to our Young Guns Workshop on March 30 - 31 at the Hilton Hotel Surfers Paradise. Click here for further details and to register. Earlybird pricing ends 28 February.

(1) B2B Branding Survey, McKinsey

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Mark Holton Smithink